A Duet from Michael Beel

Some of the most exciting hairstyling is like performance art. An opportunity to excel comes along in the form of a client or a competition and ideas begin to jostle for attention. Work begins; the stylist drawing on all the techniques gathered through a career. The work is presented to an audience, may collect a prize along the way, then is photographed. The model walks away and that is so often the project’s full stop.

But, we have the photos which are like artifacts to look at, publish, and use to recall the verve of the creation. In these two images, we have photographic recall of two exuberant works from the craftsmanship of Michael Beel, stylist at Buoy hairdressing.

This first work comes from the ‘New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year’ section at the Schwarkzopf Hair Expo held in Sydney. It is pure drama. Beel has used a cone of fine wire as a structure over which has been combed up the fieriness of loops and ringlets and tendrils. It is sheer opera – she is the soprano who has just ordered the execution of a hundred prisoners. Yet, the fury is contained, perhaps tamed, by the simple expedience of using bands of haberdashery ribbon to demarcate the hair from the alabaster-fine model.

This work was a production for ghd and relies on the accomplished use of additions and wefting for its effect. The result is one of a sumptuous mane, a Lady Godiva recollection, something weighty and imperial cleanly thrown back from the face. It is a work of stunning silhouette, captured here by the Australian photographer Andrew O’Toole whose camera is so often sought to record the exuberance and nuances of styling.